A happy picture

They’re bringing back the chinook salmon in Washington state rivers, where the populations have been destroyed by hydroelectric dams, among other things.

Conor Giorgi, Anadromous Program Manager at the Spokane Tribe of Indians, coaxes one of 51 Chinook salmon into the Little Spokane River, Friday, Aug. 6, 2021. Spokane Tribe of Indians, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, Inland Northwest Land Conservancy released the adult Chinook salmon from the Wells Salmon Hatchery into the river. Salmon have not been in the Little Spokane in 111 years. This is part of a larger effort to reintroduce sustainable salmon populations above Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams.

Although, I have to ask, did they really have to bring up the Program Manager’s sexuality in the text? I say that as someone entirely sympathetic with the anadromous lifestyle, and who would be swimming back to the sea myself if I weren’t so darned timid and straight-laced (I’d probably call myself diadromous, actually, I’m open-minded about which way you swing).


  1. Allison says

    did they really have to bring up the Program Manager’s sexuality in the text?

    I had to look up what “anadromous” meant. It did not occur to me that it might be a joke until I did. It’s still not obvious that you didn’t mean it seriously. (The usual problem with written communications — irony and humor often come through.)

  2. Allison says

    I’m also reading that salmon populations are dying out because the spawning streams are getting too hot. I wonder how that will affect these restocked fish?

  3. Thomas Scott says

    If you would be “swimming back to the sea…”, then you are confusing anadromous with catadromous (eels, and the like that spawn at sea).

  4. hillaryrettig1 says

    OK that was legit funny, PZ.

    If you would be “swimming back to the sea…”, then you are confusing anadromous with catadromous (eels, and the like that spawn at sea).

    he’s figuratively and literally genderfluid!

  5. rabbidpenguin says

    I have not seen it in a while, but there was/is? a group of buddhist that would periodically release fish into Coal Harbor in Vancouver (I work around there). Every time they would have a little ceremony before opening their box’s and place the creatures into the water.
    Well, the locals were a big fan of this event, and by locals I mean seals. They would swarm the little dock and probably have the best meal of the year those days.
    I’ve always wondered if they learned to associate the ceremony with food. The gong being their dinner bell.

  6. microraptor says

    @6: I’m sure they did. Seals have learned to associate boats with food (stealing fish that are being reeled in on fishing lines) and boat docks with food (waiting under fish cleaning stations for scraps).

  7. M'thew says

    @6: That’s a life release or mercy release. The idea is that you release an animal that was meant for slaughter, although in the case you mention I’d think it’s a matter of “out of the frying pan into the fire” for the fish. Not sure if that has the intended effect on the karma of the person doing the release.
    Note that the Wiki article also mentions that it can be a way of introducing invasive species into an environment. Not sure if adding to the destruction mankind is wreaking on this planet helps you to achieve Nirvana.

  8. lumipuna says

    Just the other day I saw a similar news story here in Finland. There’s a landlocked subspecies of Atlantic salmon that lives in Lake Ladoga, Russia and spawns in some adjacent rivers. The upper reaches of River Hiitolanjoki, in southeastern Finland, were blocked by hydroelectric dams a century ago, but the local salmon population survived by spawning in lower tributaries on Russian side of the border. Now they’re dismantling the dams on the Finnish side to open up more spawning habitat for the salmon.

  9. rabbidpenguin says

    @7: Well a bunch did, are you suggesting they move the ceremony to New Brighton Park for better results?

    @8: COOOOOOL, smart little beasts. Thanks!

    @9: Good point on the eco system and fire/frying pan. In this case if feels like religious box ticking. I did the thing with reverence, I get the points!